Construction Impacts and Updates
Over the length of the project, there will be some impacts to abutters in terms of noise, traffic, parking, and other potential minor impacts. Project contractors and City staff are committed to minimizing and mitigating those impacts as much as possible. However, as with any construction project of this magnitude, some disruption is inevitable. We strongly encourage you to stay involved and informed by signing up for our bi-weekly (one every two weeks) email updates. You can do so by emailing email@example.com at any time and noting that you’d like to sign up for SHS updates. Updates will also be posted to this page, and you can email us anytime with questions, comments, or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org. In general, the impacts to abutters are outlined below and will be updated if and when we anticipate additional disruptions, or if conditions change. Please check back often for important updates.
- The new Somerville High School officially opened to students on March 4 as part of the district's phased return to in-person learning.
- It's a major milestone, albeit one that looked much different than the celebration envisioned at the outset of this project. Read more about the opening, plans for the facility, and key features of the new space.
- Have a look! Take a self-guided virtual tour, courtesy of SMMA. Explore the school on your computer, phone, or tablet by clicking or tapping the links within the photos, or jump to any 360-degree panoramic photo using the film reel at the bottom of the screen. Additional interior and exterior spaces will be added to this collection as landscaping and other final touches are completed.
- Construction continues on the new auditorium, expected to be completed later this spring, and on the athletic field behind campus, expected to be completed next spring.
In the new building, the focus now is largely on extensive cleaning and completing final punch list items. Recent work has included delivering salvaged items and teacher belongings to their future spaces, installing wall art and graphics throughout the interior, paver installs at driveway and walkways, installation of the children’s playground out front, landscaping, railing installation, and other miscellaneous site work.
On the western side of the site, demo of the old school continues, with debris removal and building takedown ongoing.
Pictured above, from December, is the main lobby of the eastern wing and the gym. Below is a large-group instruction room, followed by a lab classroom.
- As finish work continues inside and outside the new school's main building, this project's third and final phase is getting underway on the western side of Central Hill. This phase includes extensive earthwork to create the athletic field and driveway, and demolition of the old high school near City Hall. Pictured is abatement and building separation in progress to prepare for demo.
- Central Hill neighbors, please note: Phase 3 requires very large equipment that is subject to transportation restrictions on interstate highways and state roads. On Monday, December 14, from 4 to 6 a.m., that equipment will be delivered via Highland Ave. and down School St. (the wrong way), then off-loaded behind the existing building. Construction activities won't begin until later, but the delivery and off-loading of the equipment is likely to cause noise that is unavoidable.
- Here's another thorough video tour of the new school. Expand the video description for links to jump to different parts of the tour.
- Ongoing interior work includes finishing flooring in the lecture hall, installing millwork in the media center, sanding and finishing the gym floor, moving in equipment, rearranging furniture, and cleaning.
- Exterior site work continues with extended work hours. You can see the area in front of the school coming together on the third time-lapse camera feed.
- After Thanksgiving, ten trees will be removed on the School St. side of the site to support construction of the driveway and athletic field. This will be the final round of tree removals for the project.
- Pictured above is the media center and the gym flooring in progress. Below is a look inside the new auditorium, which will be completed after the main building.
- Extended work hours are planned over the next several weeks in order to finish up the main building and turn it over to Somerville Public Schools. The auditorium (where the school library used to be) will be delivered at a later date.
- Starting November 9, contractors will be onsite as early as 6 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. Sundays to finish up the interior and advance site work in front of the school.
- Pictured above is a classroom with a view, plus a typical corridor. Below, Culinary Arts equipment, and a climbing wall in the gym.
Furniture and equipment deliveries continue in both of the main wings and in the gym. In the western wing, work includes isolated remaining millwork, flooring, and lighting, and cleaning throughout. In the eastern wing, flooring and ceilings continue on most levels. Outdoor site work is progressing, as crews put in porous pavers, pave walkways and ramps, and install granite curbing and site lighting.
Pictured above, natural light is the name of the game in a new classroom and the multipurpose dance studio. Below, the Culinary Arts restaurant space, as well as the lecture hall.
- In the western wing, many interior spaces are substantially complete, and furniture and final fixtures are being moved in.
- In the eastern wing, flooring and tiling throughout are a main focus right now. Carpenters are boarding walls in the media center. In the gym, equipment has been installed, the climbing wall is in, and flooring will advance over the next several weeks.
- Click here to view a video tour of the high school site. Walk through the building with Matt Rice, principal architect, to see the progress on the new facilities and learn about key features of the design.
- Highland Ave. neighbors: Site work in front of the school (e.g., installing drainage, lighting infrastructure, pavers, and curbing) will begin in earnest soon and continue through the fall. Noise levels are expected to be comparable with recent months, but the nature of the work will be changing.
- In the western wing, interior work includes installing kitchen equipment in the Culinary Arts space; flooring in the dance studio; seating, carpeting, millwork, and A/V equipment in the lecture hall; terrazzo in the upper dining commons; as well as assorted light fixtures, doors, shelving, countertops, hardware, and bathroom accessories. Pictured is a fourth-floor classroom in progress.
- Gym equipment is also being delivered and installed, including backboards, scoreboards, and a climbing wall. Flooring will begin after equipment installation.
- In the eastern wing, crews are installing mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, tiling walls, and putting in light fixtures in corridors, bathrooms, and classrooms. On the building's exterior, insulation and terracotta panels are progressing near the Central Library.
- In the western wing, CTE equipment delivery is underway and will be installed in the shop areas, pictured above. Terrazzo flooring has been installed in the lower dining area and will continue near the main entry. Flooring and ceiling tile installation is ongoing in upper-level classrooms.
- In the eastern wing, drywall is well underway in what will be the administrative office area; paint and ceiling work will follow. In upper-level classrooms, physics labs, and corridors, work continues on installing ceiling grid, wall tile, lockers, millwork, and more.
- In the field house, painting is ongoing and the scoreboard and projection screen are being installed. Flooring is expected to begin in early September.
- In the western wing, contractors are installing terrazzo flooring and kitchen equipment in the lower dining commons, and ceiling tile and lighting fixtures on upper levels.
- In the eastern wing, contractors are installing overhead mechanical, electric, and plumbing systems and boarding, taping, and painting walls throughout.
- Exterior work continues on the dining terrace and underneath the lecture hall, and masonry work is underway approaching the main entrance. At the new auditorium, crews are finishing framing and sheathing gutter details and will advance roof work.
- There's a new view available on the time-lapse feed: Camera #1 now shows the exterior of the former school library / future auditorium.
- At the western wing, crews continue above-ceiling grid work, continue flooring installation and coating, and plan to receive and install various kitchen equipment. Pictured here is the interior of a new classroom.
- At the eastern wing, contractors are framing, boarding, and taping walls throughout, and installing overhead mechanical, electric, and plumbing systems.
- At the western wing, contractors will work on lower level flooring; interior mechanical, electric, and plumbing; as well as taping, priming, painting, and tiling on all levels.
- At the eastern wing, facade work continues on shade screens, terracotta, and glass curtain wall framing. Pictured above is the front entrance of the eastern wing.
- At the western wing, interior mechanical, electric, and plumbing work continues, as well as taping, priming, painting, and tiling on all levels. Pictured above is the interior of the lecture hall taking shape.
- At the eastern wing, crews are framing walls in the front lobby, progressing on overhead piping, and boarding and taping walls throughout. At the former library/future auditorium, work continues on interior walls and roofing.
- At the western wing, crews will work on the exterior of the lecture hall area and resume interior drywall, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work.
- At the eastern wing, crews plan to work on the school's main entrance and facade, interior framing and stairwells, as well as framing and sheathing the gym roof area.
In anticipation of the easing of statewide stay-at-home restrictions on May 18, the City is preparing for a phased resumption of construction under strict COVID-prevention protocols. The Department of Infrastructure & Asset Management will manage a phased implementation both in terms of restarting individual projects and in terms of ramping up activities on each project.
The restart schedule was determined based on an evaluation of each project's critical need and the status of its safety plan. Work at the high school is expected to resume May 18.
All Non-Essential Construction Suspended Citywide
- Earlier this week, the City of Somerville issued an order to suspend non-essential construction during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- At the high school, only essential make-safe work will continue during the week of March 30 to secure these sites.
- Almost 90% of the usual workforce has demobilized. Only exterior work to make the building weather-tight will continue.
Construction During the COVID-19 Pandemic
There are understandably many questions about construction in Somerville during our current public health emergency. As of now, all work sites must comply with updated safety protocols and requirements in order to remain active.
Current construction policies are guided by the City’s Board of Health, epidemiologists, OSHA, and information provided by health agencies worldwide, and are consistent with recent shelter-in-place / stay-at-home directives issued in California and New York City.
Interim requirements for construction include but are not limited to:
- All construction projects in the City have been required to submit Job Hazard Analysis and Site-Specific Safety Plans on how each project is implementing the OSHA COVID-19 workplace regulations during the emergency declaration.
- For private building construction, the Inspectional Services Department is reviewing those plans and requiring additional measures as appropriate.
- For City contractors and utilities, the Infrastructure & Asset Management Department is restricting specific activities and has developed COVID-19 protection plans. For example, utilities will be allowed to work within the public roadway, but they will not be allowed to complete non-emergency, non-essential connections that require property entry until after the crisis is over (repairs will be allowed). Utility companies are also implementing measures to ensure work does not result in emergencies that would require home entry.
- The City has mandated all City contractors, utilities, and the Green Line Extension team participate in a regular call to evaluate efforts.
Read more here. These guidelines may change, but ensuring the health and safety of our community remains paramount. Further measures may be implemented in response to this rapidly evolving situation.
- The community meeting scheduled for Monday, March 16, has been postponed indefinitely as a result of City efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. The team is exploring alternative avenues to provide an update to the community.
- During the week of March 16, at the western wing, crews will work on interior finishes like drywall, painting, taping, and hanging doors, as well as final facade work like installing windows and terracotta.
- At the eastern wing, work progresses on sheathing the exterior, as well as plumbing, HVAC, and other mechanical systems on the interior.
- Contractors also plan to start building up the walls on the new auditorium.
- A community meeting will be held Monday, March 16, at 6:30 p.m. in the SHS cafeteria to discuss construction progress and outline remaining work over the next several months.
- Primarily intended for those who live and work nearby, the presentation will focus on logistics plans and anticipated impacts of construction for abutters over the next several months.
- At the western wing, contractors continue installing glass curtainwalls on the exterior and shoring up walls on the interior. Exterior walls are being framed at the eastern wing, and crews are forming and placing concrete for new stairs in front of the former library/future auditorium building.
- During the week of February 24, a second shift is expected from 3 to 11 p.m. on weekdays, when contractors plan to advance work on interior walls in both the western and eastern wings.
- At the western wing, throughout the week during regular hours, plumbing and duct work will continue, as well as framing walls in the new lecture hall, boarding and taping walls throughout the interior, and installing insulation and terracotta on the facade. At the eastern wing, contractors will continue framing exterior walls.
- One additional note from the Central Hill Campus Plan: Crews may be drilling for soil samples in front of the Central Library early in the week, but sidewalks and library access should not be impeded.
- Concrete placement for the floors in the eastern wing will continue during the week of January 13.
- Weather permitting, on Wednesday and Friday, January 15 and 17, crews will arrive as early as 3 a.m. to prepare for work to start at 4 a.m. Trucks will enter and exit the site using Highland Ave. between Vinal Ave. and Central Library.
- This work is highly dependent upon weather, but similar operations are expected to occur intermittently into February. Neighbors will be notified in advance through the City's alert system.
Please join Mayor Curtatone and Somerville Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper for a second and final “topping off” ceremony at Somerville High School on Thursday, December 19.
This celebration marks a major milestone in the construction of the new high school, when the highest steel beam of the new building’s eastern wing will be set into place.
The ceremony will be held on the SHS campus on Highland Ave. next to the Central Library. Attendees can arrive as early as 2:30 p.m. to sign the beam; the ceremony will begin at 3 p.m., and light refreshments will follow in the high school cafeteria. Guests are encouraged to dress warmly and wear boots, sneakers, or other sturdy footwear.
- At the eastern wing, foundations are expected to be completed within the next week or so. A second crane will be arriving onsite to help advance the steel work.
- Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work continues at the western wing, and crews will continue tarping the exterior to fully enclose it for winter-weather protection.
- At the western wing, crews will continue installing overhead ducts, sprinklers, and plumbing over the next several weeks. Work also continues on the facade and roof.
- Contractors will begin roof steel installation at the former library/future theater and electrical work at the gym.
- Steel work is also underway at the eastern wing. Click through the various time-lapse camera feeds to see the latest progress.
Weather permitting, on Friday, September 27, crews will start work behind the Somerville High School campus as early as 6 a.m. to place concrete floor slabs for the lower level of the new school’s western wing.
These concrete floor slabs need to be placed in one continuous operation lasting more than 12 hours, so the construction team has been granted special permission to operate outside of normal work hours. The work itself is not expected to be loud, and contractors will do everything possible to minimize truck noise.
- Crews have begun placing concrete footings for the foundation of the new school's eastern wing.
- At the western wing, work has started to construct the exterior facade of the new building, which you can see on the time-lapse camera view from Medford St.
- Contractors are also continuing renovations at the gym and future theater.
- If weather permits, contractors plan to place concrete floor slabs for the second level of the western wing early Monday, August 19. Trucks will arrive starting at 3 a.m. This process is expected to repeat two more times in the coming weeks (to place the third and fourth floors).
- If you live near the high school, please ensure you're enrolled in the City's alert system to be notified in advance.
- Now that the Phase 2 work zone has been established further east, take a look at the latest site logistics plan, which shows the campus layout through Fall 2020.
- On Thursday, August 1, crews will arrive behind the SHS campus as early as 4 a.m. to begin placing concrete floor slabs for the new building. From 4 a.m. to 7 a.m., School St. will be closed between Montrose St. and Highland Ave. to facilitate truck access.
- These concrete floor slabs need to be placed in one continuous operation lasting more than 12 hours, so the construction team has been granted special permission to operate outside normal hours. The work itself is not expected to be loud, and contractors will do everything possible to minimize truck noise.
- Beginning on or around Wednesday, August 7, parking adjacent to the Central Library will be removed as SHS construction progresses to the next phase. Per the original plan, this parking has been scheduled to be removed, and library patrons will need to use on-street parking. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
- During the week of July 29, demo will continue at the E building (furthest east, in front of the gym).
- If weather allows, contractors plan to pour concrete floor slabs for the first level of the western new building on or around Wednesday, July 31.
- This work needs to be conducted in one continuous operation, so trucks have been granted permission to start work as early as 4 a.m. the day of the pour, and work may continue into the evening. The work itself is not loud, and contractors will make every effort to minimize truck noise during the early morning hours.
- Additionally, the morning of the pour, truck traffic will require School St. close between Highland Ave. and Medford St. from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m.
- If you live near the high school, please ensure you're enrolled in the City's alert system to be notified before that work.
- And finally, please join us for the next public meeting about Central Hill parking on Thursday, August 15, at the Winter Hill Community School.
- Exterior demo continues at the E building (furthest east, in front of the gym). Interior abatement is also taking place in the D building (the former school library and future auditorium).
- Suffolk continues erecting structural steel at the western new building, which is expected to continue for about one more month.
- The E building (furthest east, in front of the gym) is coming down. Demo is expected to continue over the course of the week of July 15.
- Suffolk continues erecting structural steel at the western new building.
- Phase 2 of this project, which includes renovating and expanding the E building (in front of the gym), begins June 17. Suffolk will establish a new work zone around the eastern half of campus, extending south to Highland Ave. and east up to the Central Library.
- To support Phase 2 construction, at least through the fall of this year, the driveway entrance opposite Vinal Ave. will be closed. Instead, the one-way exit near Central Library will be converted to accommodate two-way traffic. Modified parking will continue to be available, and access to the Central Hill playgrounds will be maintained.
- Another milestone of note: Structural steel installation is expected to begin at the new western building this week. Keep an eye on the project website to watch the progress in (almost) real time.
- At the eastern building, interior abatement and demo will begin on first, second, and third floors of the E building. New decking will also be installed on the gym roof.
- Weather and schedules permitting, the next round of tree removals is anticipated to move forward during the week of June 17.
- In mid-June, after school's out for the summer, the Central Hill playgrounds will close until sometime in 2021 to advance construction on this project and the Central Hill Campus Plan. Click here to see other parks and playgrounds nearby.
- Behind campus, during the week of May 27, Suffolk will begin pouring interior footings for the western building's lower level.
- Over at the eastern building, they'll excavate underground plumbing, demo interior walls, and continue incremental reconstruction of the gym roof, which you can see on the time-lapse camera feed.
- Monday, May 20, a crane and trusses are expected to arrive outside the gym, which is notable for a few reasons:
- First, it marks a significant next step for the project -- construction on the new field house roof.
- Second, this particular crane is a testament to ongoing teamwork between SHS and GLX projects. Original GLX plans would have required a much larger model be used at significant cost to the City, so the crane you'll see onsite is the product of many hours of careful coordination. The more you know!
- In about one month, in mid-June after school's out for the summer, the Central Hill playgrounds will close until sometime in 2021 to advance construction on this project and the Central Hill Campus Plan. Click here to see other parks and playgrounds nearby.
- In the E wing, interior demo is mostly complete, but roof demo was pushed out until steel trusses arrive within the next week or so.
- Behind the school, crews continue to pour foundations for large lower-level walls of the new building.
- During the week of April 22, crews will continue interior abatement and demolition inside the E wing and removing ballast from the roof, which they'll take down in the coming weeks.
- Behind the school, they'll excavate toward the train tracks to make room for lower-level walls. The first steel is expected to be installed in about a month
- This past week, concrete was placed at the first building foundation wall. Scope out the best view on the time-lapse camera feed.
- Weather permitting, on Monday, March 18, work will resume on Highland Ave. between Putnam St. and Vinal Ave. for three to four days, requiring lane shifts and parking restrictions. Pedestrians should use sidewalks on the southern side of Highland Ave. in that stretch.
- Through the week of March 18, parking restrictions will continue on both sides of School St. near the Montrose St. intersection as crews continue installing water valves.
- Crews began pouring foundations for the new building on February 15 (shown from a safe distance, above). This is a major construction milestone for the project -- after years of preparation work, the actual building is underway.
- Beginning on or around Wednesday, February 27, please expect parking restrictions on School St. near the Montrose St. intersection through at least the end of the week. Crews will be in the area installing water valves.
- Central Hill Park playgrounds are now expected to reopen in the next two to three weeks.
• Behind the high school, concrete's going in! Crews are in the process of pouring foundations for the new building.
• Fifteen trees along the front of the campus are planned for removal during the week of February 18 or shortly thereafter. All were previously identified for removal during tree hearings.
• While students are on vacation, crews will tackle some drainage work on the concourse near City Hall, but all parking is expected to remain available.
• Over on Central Hill this past week, the Civil War monument made its way into storage. It will be restored and eventually reinstalled as part of the Central Hill Campus Plan.
• Crews are working to clean up the Central Hill Park area, and playgrounds there may reopen by the end of the week.
On or around Wednesday, February 20, crews will remove a total of 15 trees in front of Somerville High School and in Central Hill Park as part of the Somerville High School Building Project. This round of removals includes four trees in front of the school’s main entrance, four in front of the high school library, five in front of the field house, and two near Central Hill playground.
All were identified for removal in public meetings on June 8, 2017, and February 26, 2018. Notices were posted on the trees themselves on February 6, 2019.
- Weather permitting, crews plan to return to Highland Ave., adjacent to Central Hill Park, Monday, February 4, through Thursday, February 7, between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- During work hours, westbound traffic will likely be rerouted down Walnut St. to Medford St. and up School St. Eastbound traffic will proceed normally, as will MBTA buses in both directions.
- On-street parking will also be restricted during work hours on both sides of Highland Ave. between Vinal Ave. and the Central Library.
- Playgrounds on Central Hill remain closed through about mid-February.
- The driveway entrance to the Central Hill concourse, on Highland Ave. opposite Vinal Ave., is expected to be closed Wednesday, January 30, and Thursday, January 31, but parking will remain available. Police details will be onsite to facilitate access.
- Work continues in Central Hill Park to install drainage and relocate the Civil War Monument. Playgrounds there remain closed through about mid-February.
- Behind the school, crews continue excavating soil and installing shoring.
- Contractors will continue monument removals and drainage installation in Central Hill Park. Highland Ave. should be clear the week of January 21, but the playgrounds there remain closed through about mid-February.
- Beginning the week of January 21, the Civil War Monument will be moved from Central Hill into storage for the duration of construction. The structure is 28 feet tall, so crews estimate needing two weeks for this work.
- Behind the school, crews continue excavating soil and installing shoring over the next few weeks. It's not very glamorous yet, but you can see progress taking shape on the time-lapse video.
- The playgrounds in Central Hill Park are closed until approximately mid-February. Contractors will be moving the monuments offsite for restoration and storage during construction, then installing new drainage in the area. The monuments will ultimately be reinstated at a location to be determined as part of the Central Hill Campus Plan.
- To accommodate the work outlined above, please expect parking restrictions and alternating traffic on Highland Ave. between Vinal Ave. and Walnut St. between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- The sidewalk adjacent to the playgrounds along the northern side of Highland Ave. will also be closed during work hours. Police details will be onsite to help coordinate.
- Crews will also continue installing shoring behind the campus.
Over the next few weeks, Suffolk will continue installing shoring behind the campus.
Students are on vacation the week of December 24, but workers may be onsite to remove some of the intact asbestos that had been discovered during excavation. All abatement is in accordance with plans approved by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Asbestos that is properly managed in place poses no health risk.
Beginning on or around January 2, please expect construction activity on the Central Hill concourse between the SHS field house and the Central Library. Crews will be working on drainage in the area and removing the monuments from the site. Both playgrounds on Central Hill will be closed for about four to five weeks as a safety precaution.
Suffolk will continue excavating soil behind the school, they'll begin coring holes for micropiles near the main building, and they plan to install micropiles near the high school library building during the week of December 10.
Abatement work continues to remove some of the intact asbestos that had been discovered on the construction site during excavation, so you may see contained work areas set up and personnel in protective gear onsite. As a reminder, asbestos that is properly managed in place poses no health risk to students, staff, or the general public.
If you're interested in parking on Central Hill parking policies, please join City staff on Wednesday, December 12, at 6 p.m. at the Central Library, 79 Highland Ave. This is the fourth in a series of public quarterly meetings to discuss parking changes, new data collection, and strategies for impact mitigation. Click here to learn more.
Work is ongoing to remove some of the intact asbestos that had been discovered on the construction site during excavation. All abatement is in accordance with plans approved by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Asbestos that is properly managed in place poses no health risk to students, staff, or the general public.
As abatement continues, you may see contained work areas set up and personnel in protective gear onsite.
The schedule for removing monuments on Central Hill has been slightly delayed. Playgrounds in the area are expected to be open for use throughout the week of December 3.
Suffolk will continue excavating soil behind the school, and they'll begin coring holes and installing micropiles near the D building (the high school library).
Please expect restricted access to the Central Hill playgrounds and the surrounding areas in front of the Central Hill library during the weeks of November 19 and November 26.
During that time, the Civil War Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, and the Women of the Union Square Post Plaque Memorial will be removed, restored, and stored for the duration of construction. These will ultimately be reinstalled at locations to be determined as part of the Central Hill Campus Plan.
In October, we notified you of the discovery of intact asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in the insulation of a pipe in an outside section of the SHS construction project. As we noted, the standard process to secure that area and ensure the safe removal of the materials was immediately put into place. The removal process for those materials has been completed.
We want to make you aware of subsequent suspect / confirmed ACM findings during the excavation process. Black footing damp proofing on the no-longer-used exterior gym stairs; insulation found on an old, unused, and unconnected pipe located underground; and insulation/debris inside an old, unused utility tunnel were confirmed to have ACM. Again, the areas were immediately secured as required by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Work plans for these areas are being or have been developed, and are being or have been submitted to the DEP for approval to safely remove these affected materials. Excavation work around these areas has been temporarily halted until the plans are approved by the DEP and the affected materials are safely removed from the construction site. SHS parents/guardians and staff have already been notified.
As noted in our earlier communication, asbestos only presents a health risk when fibers become airborne and are inhaled. Like the previous finding, the latest ACM findings are intact and immediately contained, posing no risk to students, staff, or the general public. We want to reassure you that all abatement measures are being taken to safely remove the material in accordance with Federal and State regulations. You may again notice personnel in protective suits and wearing respirators while the abatement work is occurring, a normal practice during the removal process. All removal work is monitored, air quality is tested throughout the removal process, and final assessments are performed by a licensed project monitor to confirm that all ACM has been properly removed. Again, we remind you that these types of findings are very common on large construction projects involving older buildings.
We will continue to keep you informed as work on this project progresses, and are committed to ensuring that all appropriate steps are taken to safely and immediately address any unforeseen issues. For further information, please contact Leo DeSimone at email@example.com or (617) 625-6600, ext. 6136.
During the week of October 29, Suffolk will continue excavating soil behind the school and working on the foundation for the emergency generator.
During the week of November 5, the Memorial Cannons will be removed from Central Hill and stored offsite. Pedestrians should expect restricted access in that area and note posted detours.
A few weeks thereafter, removal of the other monuments will begin. These include the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, the Women of the Union Square Post Plaque Memorial, and the Civil War Memorial. Click here for an overview of the monuments, memorials, and art pieces on Central Hill that will be temporarily removed and stored for the duration of construction.
We want to make you aware that a small amount of intact asbestos containing materials (ACM) were found in the insulation of a pipe in an outside section of the SHS construction project, between the vocational and academic areas of the 1986 wing. The area was immediately secured with red tape and poly tarps, as required by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). A work plan was approved by DEP to safely remove the affected materials. The removal process is currently under way. SHS staff and parents/guardians have already been notified.
Asbestos only presents a health risk when fibers become airborne and are inhaled. The ACM found at the site was intact and was immediately contained, thus posing no risk to students or staff. All abatement measures are being taken to safely remove the material in accordance with Federal and State regulations by trained and protected personnel in a manner that is protective of workers and occupants of the property. You may notice personnel in protective suits and wearing respirators while this work is occurring. This is part of the normal practice of removal. These types of discoveries often happen on large construction projects on older buildings, and we assure you that all removal work is monitored and final assessments are performed by a licensed project monitor to confirm that all ACM has been properly removed.
For further information, please contact Leo DeSimone at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 625-6600, ext. 6136.
As of September 17, demolition of the C wing and the rears of the D and E wings has been completed.
Suffolk is also putting the finishing cosmetic touches on a new stairwell behind the gym (E wing), which leads down to Medford St.
During the week of September 24, behind the campus, crews will begin excavating soil and trucking it offsite. They’ll be clearing that area down to foundation level for the new building.
The C wing has now been fully demolished and Suffolk Construction has almost completed removing the debris from the site. Beginning the week of August 13, demolition will begin on the rear portions of both the D and E wings. The process and equipment used will be exactly the same as when the C wing was demolished: Large machines such as backhoe loaders and hydraulic excavators will remove sections of the existing buildings piece by piece and load the debris into trucks for removal from the site. Demo on these sections is expected to take one to two weeks to complete.
During the week of August 13, Suffolk will build a ramp between the A and B wings to provide a new accessible entry point. This work involves excavating the stairs that are currently where the new ramp will go, as well as some saw cutting, which may produce some moderate noise in that vicinity.
Also during the week of August 13 and lasting for about two weeks, crews will be constructing a stairway off the back side of the gym leading to the sidewalk at the rear parking lot along Medford St. Some excavation is anticipated for a few days at the beginning of this project.
Suffolk will work August 18 and August 25 to keep the project on schedule. Construction hours will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., but trucks may arrive as early as 8 a.m. to prepare. If work is occurring outside of allowed hours, please contact 311 to report any issues or concerns. Some quiet interior work has been approved to start at 8 a.m. There may be some workers onsite on Sunday, August 19, as well, but only to do some minor, unobtrusive cleanup.
PROJECT INFO & CONTACTS
In general, contractors will not conduct work which requires significant noise during times when school is in session Through most of Spring 2018, there should not be much noise impact as students will be in school through June, and major demolition work will not begin while school is in session. Dust control measures will be utilized during any and all work where dust could spread beyond the immediate project area. Abutters will be notified in advance of any demolition work.
The High School Project consists of three phases of demolition:
- PHASE 1: Beginning on or about June 22, 2018, demolition activity will take place on the High School “C Wing,” the north end of the existing SHS library, and the Cambridge Health Alliance rooms east of the library. Major demolition is expected to take 4-5 weeks (Monday-Friday) to complete.
- PHASE 2: Beginning on or about July 8, 2019, demolition activity will take place on the SHS “1986/CTE Wing.” Major demolition is expected to take 4-5 weeks (Monday-Friday) to complete.
- PHASE 3: Beginning on or about July 18, 2020, demolition activity will take place on the SHS “A Wing,” Auditorium and Boiler room. Major demolition is expected to take 8-10 weeks (Monday-Friday) to complete.
Parking on the City Hall/SHS concourse, and other parking lots currently situated adjacent to SHS will gradually be eliminated as the project progresses. In January 2018, parking spots abutting the green space on the concourse were eliminated to make room for modular classrooms that will be utilized beginning on April 23, 2018.
Over the week of April 15, 2018, parking on the entire City Hall/SHS concourse will temporarily be closed as contractors create a new parking and driving configuration. That work will be complete and the concourse reopened on April 23, 2018. During the week of construction, City Hall staff will utilize SHS parking lots as school will not be in session. Therefore, we anticipate a net gain in parking for the neighborhood during the week of April 15, 2018.
The next alteration of parking will be the closure of the upper and lower school lots on the east (library) end of the site. This closure will occur at the conclusion of the 2018-2019 academic year, currently anticipated as June 19, 2019.
More information is available here.
The contractor will develop and enforce procedures for preventing construction activities from creating unacceptable Indoor Air Quality within occupied areas. This includes use of dust protection, filters, containment, ventilation and negative air pressurization. Suffolk is required to monitor work practices and have systems in place for early detection of potential Indoor Air Quality issues. Suffolk is required to provide monthly monitoring of the building indoor air quality with additional monitoring required when construction operations generate higher levels of potential contaminants.
On the exterior of the site the contractor is required to employ dust control measures, often accomplished by watering down work areas on a regular basis, and particularly prior to earthwork or demolition activities. Construction equipment utilized onsite is required to have full exhaust systems and exhaust scrubbers where applicable.
Phase 1 - Demo/New Addition
Phase 1A - Lower Level Gym
Phase 1B - 1st Floor Gym
Phase 2 - New Addition
Phase 2A - Auditorium
Phase 3 - Demo/Field